Panther women’s hoop loses two games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team dropped a pair of tight home NESCAC games this past weekend. The Panthers are 11-11, 3-5 in NESCAC play, and will close their regular season with two road games this weekend, at Trinity on Friday and at Amherst on Sunday.
On this past Sunday, Middlebury was even with Bowdoin at the half, but the visiting Polar Bears (20-2, 8-0 NESCAC and ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division III) forced 14 second-half turnovers on their way to a 53-43 win. 
A back-and-forth first half finished in a 24-24 tie as Panther forward Elizabeth Knox scored 11 points before the break.
The Polar Bears opened the second half on a 10-2 run as four players scored, including two baskets by Shannon Brady. After trailing 34-26 with 14:35 left, the Panthers made it a two-possession deficit three times over the next six minutes. A bucket by Knox at 8:24 set the score at 40-34 in favor of the visitors.
Over the next five minutes, the Polar Bears went on a decisive 12-0 run to take a 52-34 lead at 3:20. Middlebury put together a 9-1 run to close out the contest, with Rachel Crews and Siobhan O’Sullivan each netting three-pointers.
Bowdoin scored 27 points off 27 Panther turnovers and held a 28-12 advantage in points in the paint. The Panthers held the visitors to two-for-16 from behind the arc and scoring 10 points off 17 Polar Bear turnovers.
Knox led Middlebury with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Alexis Coolidge finished with seven points, three assists, a block and two steals. Sabrina Weeks had eight points and seven rebounds, while Nora Kelly scored her first points of the season, transitioning from student-assistant to player after recovering from knee injuries.
Brady finished with a game high 14 points for Bowdoin.
On Friday, Knox scored 27 points, but visiting Colby (15-6, 4-4) used a 9-0 run in the final minutes to take a 66-60 win over Middlebury.
The Panthers led at the half, 27-24, and the teams traded the lead in the second half. With 3:42 showing on the clock, O’Sullivan gave Middlebury its final lead at 52-50, but Colby responded with its 9-0 run and sealed the win by knocking down seven of eight free throws in the final 1:03.
Knox added a game-best nine rebounds, while Sarah Kaufman chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Holly Lanchantin also added six boards for the Panthers.

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